Iowa: Sam Schmidt Motorsports preview

SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS AIMS FOR SUCCESS IN RACE IN IOWA THIS WEEKEND NEWTON, Iowa. -- After two weekends off, Sam Schmidt Motorsports is ready to get back into the swing of the Firestone Indy Lights Championship with this weekend's race at the...

SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS AIMS FOR SUCCESS IN RACE IN IOWA THIS WEEKEND

NEWTON, Iowa. -- After two weekends off, Sam Schmidt Motorsports is ready to get back into the swing of the Firestone Indy Lights Championship with this weekend's race at the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway, the shortest track of the season. Practice begins on Friday night at 8 p.m. EDT with a 45-minute session. Another practice will take place on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. EDT. Qualifying follows at 4 p.m. EDT., and the 115-lap race begins at 9 p.m. EDT. All on track-sessions can be viewed live via streaming video on indycar.com.

The television broadcast of the Iowa 100 airs on Monday, June 22nd, at 4 p.m. EDT on VERSUS.

Wade Cunningham enters Iowa having earned three top-five results in last three outings.

Sitting in fourth in the championship standings, just 35 points out of the lead, Wade Cunningham enters this weekend's race in Iowa on a bit of a roll having finished 2nd, 1st, and 5th in his last three races, respectively, including earning two poles. He is no stranger to this facility having earned the pole and leading the most laps in the series first visit to the track in 2007. Though he finished second that year (behind the Lucas Oil machine he now drivers), he's confident and determined to leave here this weekend one step higher on the victory podium.

Rookies James Hinchcliffe and Gustavo Yacaman look to capitalize on SSM's past success at Iowa.

Having earned their career-best oval finishes in the previous round of the championship at Milwaukee (Yacaman fourth, Hinchcliffe seventh), the two rookies from Sam Schmidt Motorsports are looking forward to tackling another short oval in Firestone Indy Lights. As the team won the race in 2007 and earned a podium in 2008, both drivers enter knowing that the team has a solid package for this track, and more importantly, they themselves have shown that they are capable of slicing and dicing up front in the fast-paced action of short-oval racing.

Ana Beatriz returns to the cockpit of the #20 Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt machine.

After a rough finish to the Freedom 100 and missing the race in Milwaukee, no driver is more excited to be back at the track than Ana Beatriz who returns to her seat in the Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt car. Beatriz qualified sixth and finished third in this race last year, and with the adversity she has faced lately, she is very much looking forward to getting back into the cockpit and putting up a solid result this weekend.

DRIVER NOTES & QUOTES

#7 HINCHTOWN.com/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver James Hinchcliffe

"I think the cool thing about Iowa, from what I hear, is that it drives like a short oval, which is fun for the drivers, but races like a superspeedway, which is great for the racing and the fans. I had my best oval outing last race and am gaining more experience every week, so I'm really expecting to be fighting for a podium finish this weekend."

#11 LUCAS OIL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Wade Cunningham

Race expectations: "My expectations are very high. I will be extremely disappointed to not contend for the pole and race win after a successful event last time I raced here (2007). I managed to win the pole but lost out to this exact Sam Schmidt car in the race so I am confident I have the right equipment under me to get the job done."

Keeping busy: "It has been a case of working hard with the team at Pitfit and trying to make the most of summer. I have managed to spend some time wakeboarding on the lake so I have been enjoying myself, but I am looking forward to another opportunity to move up the points standings this weekend."

#20 HEALTHY CHOICE/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Ana Beatriz

"I am really glad to be back in my Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt car. These last few weeks were tough for me. Together with my management and agents, we worked very hard to find additional sponsorship to get back on track. One of my managers, Andre Ribeiro, put in a lot of his personal resources into this project to get us back on track and allow us opportunities to grow in the near future to hopefully finish the season in a strong position. We're still looking to bring in more capital to have things secure for the rest of the year, but at least we're able to get back on track this weekend . The Sam Schmidt crew did an amazing job building this new car, and I learned a lot by watching every step of it. I am very excited to go back to Iowa, the track where I earned my first podium on an oval. I will give my best to reward everybody involved in what has been a very challenging time for us, and I know in the end, we will all be stronger for it."

#44 CREPES & WAFFLES/TUVACOL/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Driver Gustavo Yacaman

"First and foremost in Iowa, it's important that I finish the race so that I can maximize my time in the car and improve as a driver. I know I still have a lot to learn. We showed at the last race in Milwaukee that we can be competitive and run up front with the best, and I'll look to continue doing that this weekend. The Sam Schmidt team has run well here in the past so I'll look to their experience to help me run competitively for this race."

Team Owner, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Sam Schmidt "Iowa, in its shorts history, has been quite good to Sam Schmidt Motorsports for sure. Entering this race, with Wade having started from pole and finishing second here in 2007, to Gusty and James coming off solid runs, we have extremely high expectations for this weekend. We also look forward to the return of Ana Beatriz in the #20 Healthy Choice car. With her performance there in 2008, she will definitely be a contender."

Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation
On Friday, June 19th, the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and Sam Schmidt Motorsports will be hosting its "Day at the Races" event in the AGR Hospitality area at 12:30 p.m. CDT. Around 50 guests will be provided lunch and learn about the quality of life programs available to the spinal cord injured and their families. Media inquiries about the foundation can be directed to Ida Cahill, the foundation President -- (609) 638-2083.

-credit: ssm

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Wade Cunningham , Andre Ribeiro , James Hinchcliffe , Ana Beatriz , Gustavo Yacaman